It's your citizenship (aka passport) that matters. It's not just a technicality, you are still a Citizen of one the European countries (I assume one of the EU countries from the way your write it). Lot of people live overseas for decades.
you can apply online no matter where you are, no need to fly to Europe for that. This is assuming that you have been accepted to a local school etc. So first things first as you need Registration Acknowledgement Letter from the school that has accepted you. after that the student pass is pretty easy thing: